NHL Atlanta Thrasher Captain Undergoes Back Surgery at Strong

Local Surgeon Operates on Second NHL Hockey Player in Three Months

February 12, 2003

Atlanta Thrashers forward and team captain Shawn McEachern underwent successful back surgery at Strong Memorial Hospital this afternoon to repair a herniated disc.

Strong Memorial Neurosurgeon Paul Maurer, M.D., performed a lumbar disc extrusion on the 33-year-old winger, which was causing pain and weakness in his leg. Maurer said he expects McEachern to be able to go back home to Atlanta by Friday, and should be back on the ice in six weeks.

“The surgery was smooth and uneventful in every way. A large piece of cartilage was removed from the spinal canal,” Maurer said. “He should be discharged from Strong on Friday and I would expect a full and rapid recovery, with no long-term restrictions.”

McEachern has registered 10 goals and 16 assists for 26 points in 46 games this season. The 5-11, 200-pound left wing has amassed 237 goals and 279 assists for 516 points in 801 career NHL games with Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Boston, Ottawa and Atlanta.

McEachern is the second NHL player to have surgery at Strong in three months. In November, Maurer performed a lumbar laminectomy on Thrashers’ defenseman Uwe Krupp, who was practicing five weeks after his surgery. Maurer also has operated on cable TV tycoon Ted Turner, casino billionaire William Pennington, and U.S. Representative Louise Slaughter.

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